Although it has been five years since our last Lynn Chadwick exhibition we continue to champion the artist around the world, showing works from throughout his career at the gallery and at the various art fairs such as Frieze Masters, Art Miami, Tefaf Maastricht and BRAFA Brussels. Our presence at these fairs is an increasingly important part of the gallery programme and we have significantly enhanced our presentations at these events. We do however still continue our ambitious programme of exhibitions and publications at the gallery. Chadwick is central to what we do, an ongoing interest in the sculptors who became recognised internationally in the 1950s and who are fundamental to that golden era of British art. Our 2017 gallery exhibition Aspects of Modern British Sculpture positioned Chadwick within the group who showed to great acclaim at the Venice Biennales of 1952 and 1956, alongside Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler and others.
The Chadwick estate has been very active and many will have seen the various installations in UK and around the world this year. In the summer of 2019 there was a major exhibition of some 60 works in Berlin at the Haus am Waldsee museum and sculptures can also be seen in UK at RHS Wisley. In 2019 the monumental Chadwick Beasts have been especially visible in UK and in France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere.
This Chadwick exhibition, the 7th such exhibition I have been involved with over the 38 years since I first met the artist, and the first at the new gallery on Dering St, contains a number of new discoveries and covers the whole of his career with a special emphasis on the iconic sculptures of the 1950s and 1960s. We are fortunate to have three unique original working models made of Stolit, a compound of plaster and iron filings which form the basis from which the mould was taken to cast the work in bronze. The Stolit sculptures in our show left Chadwick’s studio in the 1950s for exhibitions from which they were sold so no bronze casts were ever made.
We also have an exceptional collection of sculptures and works on paper owned by the family of Tommy Kenyon who met Chadwick during military service in World War II when they became firm friends, staying with the Chadwicks for extended periods in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s when these works were gifted by the artist. The 1948 drawing, one of the very earliest recorded works by the artist, and the home-made prints, are fascinating and have not been seen before. The two very unusual portrait head drawings, dedicated to Tommy Kenyon and his wife Françoise and two welded iron sculptures are also new discoveries. We are grateful to Sarah and Caroline Kenyon and Libby Visinand for letting us have these for the exhibition.
Several of the works in the exhibition have been through our hands before, and it is very gratifying to renew acquaintance with sculptures we last saw 10 or 20 years ago. As always I am very grateful to Eva Chadwick and Sarah Marchant for their unfailing support, to Judith LeGrove who has written extensively for us this year and contributes an essay to this catalogue, and to my colleague Tania Sutton at the gallery who has curated the exhibition. I am also very grateful to the collectors who have lent works to the show.
Please note that during the first week in October we are exhibiting at Frieze Masters and at the British Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery. We will be taking selected works from the exhibition to these fairs to complement our Modern British collections.